Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P IS FOR PLATYPUS : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 16 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


'Wildlife Encounters'


Edited extract from one of my articles published in an English language newspaper in Spain:

The platypus is an animal I had learnt about in school. Unique to Australia it is not a marsupial, but a monotreme – or egg-laying mammal. 




These little creatures live in burrows on the banks of freshwater lakes, rivers and streams. They only venture out early in the morning and evening. They are nervous as actors with stage fright.




The accommodation I picked near Mount Field National Park in Tasmania was specifically chosen because I had heard that it had a small lake containing a colony of six wild platypuses.
On the evening we arrived we caught a brief glimpse of movement out on the lake.


In the ill-lit dusk we hazily managed to identify a platypus through our binoculars. It wasn’t enough.

The following morning I rose early and crept out in the misty dawn.
As I neared the lake I spotted disturbances in the water close to the shore. I approached with care and was rewarded with three platypuses diving for breakfast, sleek as miniature otters. 



Crouched in the dew damp grass, at that moment I didn’t care if I saw nothing else in Tasmania.



See you tomorrow – I’m heading north. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?



If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE


37 comments:

  1. Wow! I have only seen these animals on TV. Do post more pics!

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  2. Thanks for visiting! Yes, I was determined to do my best to see one during my Oz travels. I had searched in likely places in Victoria before I succeeded in Tasmania. :)

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  3. Lovely photos, Susan. The last one is just magical. I am making a guess about 'Q' - could it be a quail?

    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

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    1. Thanks, Aneeta. Tasmania is a pretty magical island. Quail eh? Nice guess.

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  4. Whooppee... I'm a winner!!
    North... mmmm, I'm interpreting that as due north so... let's stay in Oz and I'll even give you a choice! Quokka or Quoll. Mind you... you could also stumble over the odd quail while out hunting for the others two... ;-)
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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    1. Yes, you won this time! Interesting guesses... but is one of them correct?

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  5. Haven't heard about this one until now :)

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    1. Good enough reason to stick with me, eh? :)

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  6. That would be a thing to see, platypus in the wild. What a treat!

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  7. To be that close to as rare an animal as the platypus must have been wondrous. :-)

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  8. I've always thought the platypus was a fascinating animal.

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    1. They are strange and fascinating. When a (dead) specimen was shown to scientists in the eighteenth century they thought it was a hoax.

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  9. It must have been a cool experience...

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  10. I love to see a platypus. To see three platypuses (platypusi?) must have been an amazing sight.


    Keith's Ramblings : My A-Z story features 5 neglected P words

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    1. And I was completely alone with them which made it feel even more magical, Keith.

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  11. Gorgeous pictures.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Your pictures continue to amaze. I want to sit by that waterfall!
    @deb_atwood from
    Pen In Her Hand

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    1. Beautiful, isn't it, Deb? :)

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    2. Deb - something has happened to your link. I can't get to your blog.

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  13. What fun! The only elusive animal that I can think of that evaded my sight was moose. We visit family in northern Maine every two years and there are always signs to watch out for moose, but we never see any. One year we took a trip to the east coast of Canada, and, again, there were signs everywhere warning of moose on the road, but it took several days before we saw a single one. Then, they came out of the woodwork and we saw them everywhere! :D

    Off the top of my head, Quail is the only Q animal that I can think of, but with the list of animals that you've gone through I suspect that I'm off base.

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this post, Tracy.
      Another quail guess... you'll have to check again. :)

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  14. What a fantastic experience. I would love to see a platypus.

    @WeekendsinMaine
    Weekends in Maine

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    1. They are such strange little creatures - and very agile in the water, Karen.

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  15. Fascinating! Love the photos, too.

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    1. It took a lot of patience to get those photos - my camera wasn't very good.

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  16. You are so lucky to have sen these neat freaks:) I love your pictures and the last one is a beautiful picture that could be in a book. I always felt like God was left with excess parts and not knowing what to do with them he created this animal. A couple of years ago, I had heard that an older man with his friend, was fishing and he picked up a platypus and got stung and died from it. There is that nasty spur that is poisonous

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    1. I believe it's only the males that have the spurs, but I didn't know they could cause fatalities! Even though they look benign, you shouldn't mess with them.

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  17. Very nice! I've read elsewhere how hard it can be to spot these animals. I hope to see one someday too.

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    1. They aren't the easiest of animals to find in the wild, but if I can do it, anyone can.

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  18. Groan, i am SO jealous! Fabulous! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  19. Don't be jealous, Liz - get on a 'plane. :)

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